Downwind from the body’s yellow teeth,
children whisper night—
amniotic clouds of car exhaust
foaming to a lather above them.
They are later found deboned—
plucked from the narrowing fi eld—
ears pulled back,
a nation growling into them
as they scrape double-plumed birdsongs
from the beaks of drowned hummingbirds
and smash them into eagle-bone whistles
then ringlets of fire
then the blood of orphaned lambs.
Copyright © 2009 Sherwin Bitsui
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.